Heaven Is Here: An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph, and Everyday Joy

( 51 )

Overview

Based on her immensely popular blog, Stephanie Nielson's inspiring memoir explores how, in the wake of a near fatal plane crash, she comes to embrace, more than ever before, the power of love, motherhood, community, faith, and the simple joys of everyday life.

Heaven is Here is a poignant and inspirational memoir that chronicles Stephanie Nielson's love affair with her husband, Christian, her fulfilling motherhood with her four young children,...

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Heaven Is Here: An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph, and Everyday Joy

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Overview

Based on her immensely popular blog, Stephanie Nielson's inspiring memoir explores how, in the wake of a near fatal plane crash, she comes to embrace, more than ever before, the power of love, motherhood, community, faith, and the simple joys of everyday life.

Heaven is Here is a poignant and inspirational memoir that chronicles Stephanie Nielson's love affair with her husband, Christian, her fulfilling motherhood with her four young children, and her Mormon faith and close-knit community—the components of a very happy life Stephanie began blogging about in 2005.

However, their lives changed forever when Stephanie and Christian were in a horrific plane crash in 2008—he was burned over 40 percent of his body; she over 80 percent and wasn't expected to live—and they needed the strength of their family and friends, their faith and their love for one another, more than ever. In the aftermath of harrowing tragedy Stephanie has maintained a stunning sense of humor, optimism, and resilience—a strength of spirit that infuses her very popular blog.

Riveting and uplifting, Heaven is Here offers a gripping account of the crash and the aftermath. With her trademark wit and good cheer, Stephanie will share the wisdom and insights she's gleaned in the wake of her near-death experience and offer readers inspiration for how they too can find the best in themselves and embrace the joy and beauty of the journey, no matter what life throws at them. In the vein of The Middle Place and Saving Graces, Stephanie's book will be a moving and poignant reminder of how faith and family, love and community can bolster us, sustain us, and quite literally in some cases, save us.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Mormon homemaker Nielson was leading an old-fashioned happy life with a handsome husband (she called him “Mr. Nielson,” à la Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy), four kids, and a successful blog about her perfect life. Then she and her husband were in a small plane crash. Both survive, but are badly burned; Stephanie is burned over 80% of her body and in a coma for four months. After she awakens, she isn’t sure she wants to live, but she is sure she doesn’t want to see her children, and most of all she doesn’t want them to see her, disfigured by burns. Nielson heals, as the subtitle immediately telegraphs. But the road to recovery is deeply cratered with difficulties: pain, depression, the inability to look in a mirror and behold her scarred features. What saves her almost in spite of herself is her large family: parents, brothers and sisters, and her husband, himself recovering from injuries. Nielson’s journey from a simple life taken for granted to complex and challenging daily joy is moving and authentic. (Apr.)
Ree Drummond
In Heaven Is Here, Stephanie chronicles in harrowing detail the unspeakable tragedy that would forever alter her life. But the real story is this: Through all the tears, pain, upheaval, sadness, and struggles, it was Stephanie's faith—and the abundant love of her beautiful family—that brought her back to life. I recommend this book to anyone who needs a reminder of just how strong the human spirit is, and how instrumental faith can be in overcoming what life throws at us. (Ree Drummond, New York Times bestselling author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks)
Liz Murray
Moving and transformative, Heaven Is Here is one of those rare books that causes you to count your blessings, and it reminds you that even in face of devastating loss, you can rebuild to become stronger. Gripping from beginning to end. (Liz Murray, author of the New York Times bestseller Breaking Night)
Gretchen Rubin
How do you find your way back to happiness after your everyday life has been shattered? Stephanie Nielson paints a vivid picture of the happy life she possessed before a devastating plane crash—and how she built that happiness again. Honest, insightful, and compulsively readable, this book gave me much food for thought. (Gretchen Rubin, author of the New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project)
Lee Woodruff
For anyone who wonders how they will come through a difficult time, Heaven Is Here proves that human beings were built to survive. Stephanie Nielson weaves a humbling and spellbinding tale of how her perfect life was upended on one beautiful afternoon. Her story is a powerful testament of the healing powers of an unyielding faith, the gift of family, and the unshakable love of her husband. As I read this book it was impossible for me not to think of the parallels to my own story and the tender mercies that can be found in the wake of disaster when everything you hold most dear becomes crystal clear. (Lee Woodruff, author of the New York Times bestseller In an Instant)
Kirkus Reviews
Family, friends and faith support a woman through personal tragedy. As a young stay-at-home mother, Nielson was living the rewarding life she had always dreamed about. She had a loving husband who worked hard to support her and their four healthy children, a nice home, compassionate friends and extended family, a strong Mormon faith and a successful blog read by people around the world. Life only promised to get better when her thoughts turned to the possibility of another child. Then tragedy struck when Nielson and her husband, Christian, were badly injured in a plane crash. The author suffered disfiguring burns over 80 percent of her body and was in a coma for four months. Her husband suffered a broken back and burns on 40 percent of his body. Nielson recounts the ensuing months of struggle to regain some semblance of her former life. Graphic details of the numerous surgeries, physical therapy and daily existence as a severely burned patient are interconnected with the emotional roller coaster Nielson rode throughout her months of recovery. Her yearning desires were to tend to her children, husband and home, but she battled depression as she watched her children pull away from her disfigured body. Ultimately, self-determination, the encouragement of Christian, empathetic relatives and total strangers and Nielson's devout faith helped her reclaim many aspects of her former life. Strength found through faith helps a woman combat personal disaster--will appeal most to Christian readers.
Lee Woodruff
"For anyone who wonders how they will come through a difficult time, Heaven Is Here proves that human beings were built to survive. Stephanie Nielson weaves a humbling and spell-binding tale of how her perfect life was upended on one beautiful afternoon. Her story is a powerful testament of the healing powers of an unyielding faith, the gift of family and the unshakeable love of her husband. As I read this book it was impossible for me not to think of the parallels to my own story and the tender mercies that can be found in the wake of disaster when everything you hold most dear becomes crystal clear."
Gretchen Rubin
"How do you find your way back to happiness after your everyday life has been shattered? Stephanie Nielson paints a vivid picture of the happy life she possessed before a devastating plane crash-and how she built that happiness, again. Honest, insightful, and compulsively readable, this book gave me much food for thought."
Liz Murray
"Moving and transformative, Heaven Is Here is one of those rare books that causes you to count your blessings, and it reminds you that even in face of devastating loss, you can rebuild to become stronger. Gripping from beginning to end."
Ree Drummond
"In Heaven Is Here, Stephanie chronicles in harrowing detail the unspeakable tragedy that would forever alter her life. But the real story is this: Through all the tears, pain, upheaval, sadness and struggles, it was Stephanie's faith---and the abundant love of her beautiful family---that brought her back to life. I recommend this book to anyone who needs a reminder of just how strong the human spirit is, and how instrumental faith can be in overcoming what life throws at us."
From the Publisher
"For anyone who wonders how they will come through a difficult time, Heaven Is Here proves that human beings were built to survive. Stephanie Nielson weaves a humbling and spell-binding tale of how her perfect life was upended on one beautiful afternoon. Her story is a powerful testament of the healing powers of an unyielding faith, the gift of family and the unshakeable love of her husband. As I read this book it was impossible for me not to think of the parallels to my own story and the tender mercies that can be found in the wake of disaster when everything you hold most dear becomes crystal clear."—Lee Woodruff, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, In an Instant

"How do you find your way back to happiness after your everyday life has been shattered? Stephanie Nielson paints a vivid picture of the happy life she possessed before a devastating plane crash-and how she built that happiness, again. Honest, insightful, and compulsively readable, this book gave me much food for thought."—Gretchen Rubin, author of the New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project

"Moving and transformative, Heaven Is Here is one of those rare books that causes you to count your blessings, and it reminds you that even in face of devastating loss, you can rebuild to become stronger. Gripping from beginning to end."—Liz Murray, author of the New York Times bestseller, Breaking Night

"In Heaven Is Here, Stephanie chronicles in harrowing detail the unspeakable tragedy that would forever alter her life. But the real story is this: Through all the tears, pain, upheaval, sadness and struggles, it was Stephanie's faith—-and the abundant love of her beautiful family—-that brought her back to life. I recommend this book to anyone who needs a reminder of just how strong the human spirit is, and how instrumental faith can be in overcoming what life throws at us."—Ree Drummond, New York Times bestselling author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401341794
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 4/3/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 342,192
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephanie Nielson was born and raised in Provo, Utah. In 2005, she began, nieniedialogues.blogspot.com, a popular blog about her life as a wife, mother, and Mormon. In 2008, Stephanie and her husband survived a near-fatal plane crash in which they were both severely burned. Stephanie has maintained a positive outlook in the aftermath of this ordeal and through her extensive rehabilitation, a journey she continues to share on her blog, which is visited by four million people every month. Her story has been featured on Oprah, the Today show, and in People magazine. Stephanie lives in Provo with her husband and their four children

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Read an Excerpt

Heaven Is Here


By Stephanie Nielson

Hyperion Books

Copyright © 2012 Stephanie Nielson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4013-4179-4


Prologue

A voice whispered, "Roll."

I fell to the ground and crushed the brilliant flames that licked at my clothes, my skin, my hair. The mangled wreck of our airplane blazed nearby.

I lay on my back at the base of a tree, looking at the clouds moving across the sky. Through my tears, I noticed a leaf that fluttered in the breeze, bright green against the blue sky, far above the chaos.

A stranger rushed toward me and knelt at my side. He cradled my head in both of his hands and put it in his lap. "It's going to be all right," he said, a hint of doubt in his eyes.

The fire roared in my ears. An oppressive wall of heat pulsed against me. The air was sour—a sickening mixture of fuel, singed hair, and burning flesh. That smell is me. I am burning. How did this happen?

Where is my husband? Just minutes ago, I was in the backseat of the Cessna, admiring how capable he looked staring out the window of the cockpit as we taxied down the runway. Where is he now?

I had pizza dough rising on the counter at home and four young children to feed. Christian and I had planned to pick them up from my in-laws in an hour and a half. I felt an irrational desire for someone to just pick me up, brush me off, and send me on my way. If I didn't get home, who would make Claire's butter and honey sandwiches for her first-grade lunch box next week? Who would know to get Jane off the kindergarten bus in the middle of the day? I pictured her little red head climbing off the bus to an empty porch—no mother to hug her home from school, no little brothers playing in the yard. I imagined the bus pulling away, Jane locked out of the house.

People rushed in and out of my line of vision with a sense of urgency. Some of them wore work clothes, as if they'd been mowing their lawns or working in the garden until the moment our airplane crashed on their street and they'd been called to duty. I felt guilty for interrupting their Saturday. Like me, they all had other things to do.

"Thank you for being here," I said to the man who held my head. "You don't have to stay."

"I'm going to stay," he said. "I'm going to be right here."

Other people hovered around me a few minutes at a time. They tried to reassure me, but it seemed they needed convincing as much as I did. Their lips mouthed words of comfort, but their faces betrayed them.

They are scared, I realized. When they look at me, they are scared.

Until then, some miraculous dam of adrenaline or heavenly help had held back the agony of my injuries. But the faces around me were crowded with worry, and the dam buckled. Suddenly, pain spilled over, crashing relentlessly against me, wave after stinging wave. Every inch of my body throbbed, overloaded with agony.

"It's going to blow!" someone yelled. "Get the hose!" The burning airplane popped and crackled dangerously near a propane tank, and neighbors-turned-rescue-workers yelled back and forth above the noise. I braced myself for another explosion, but the roar of the fire held steady.

My jeans kept the heat tight against my legs. I rubbed my hands against them, trying to pull them off, but my hands didn't seem to be working. I lifted them to see why. Flaps of skin hung from my wrists. My hands themselves were gray and bloody. I saw my bones. I dropped my arms to the ground and willed away the image.

"Hey, you're going to be OK," the stranger said with believable conviction. The doubt in his eyes was gone. "You're going to be all right."

Above him, the leaf fluttered, alive and healthy. A feeling swept over me and took root in my heart.

I am going to be all right.

The dark smoke billowed around us, and blackened the sky, the tree, and my leaf.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Heaven Is Here by Stephanie Nielson Copyright © 2012 by Stephanie Nielson. Excerpted by permission of Hyperion Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 51 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(36)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 51 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 13, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    EXCELLENT!! This story is a reminder to all of us that we have a

    EXCELLENT!!
    This story is a reminder to all of us that we have a choice in this life as to how we deal with life and in this case adversity that most of us would have to do much battle with ourselves to face. This is pretty heavy subject matter. It starts out telling Stephanie’s story before the plane crash, growing up adorable, meeting her husband and having her family. The plane crash left her face disfigured and terribly scarred. It really helps you to understand what it feels like to be a patient and the difference that a care giver who really cares can make. There is great detail written in about the medical side also that showed that much research had to have been done. Excellent!


    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2012

    Highly Recommended!

    Mrs. Nielson is an inspiring author and incredible woman. The crash brought unspeakable tragedy into her life, but with faith in Jesus Christ she overcomes much of the difficulty and uses this tragedy to share her love for the Lord (by writing this book, public appearances, etc.) and spreading a message of hope. It is a beautiful book. Thank you NieNie!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2012

    320 pages seemed like 80. It is a fast and wonderful story - we

    320 pages seemed like 80. It is a fast and wonderful story - well written, well edited and just plain inspiriting

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2012

    Loved the book, thought it was a well written document of Nienie

    Loved the book, thought it was a well written document of Nienie's life before, during and after the accident. Well done, Nie!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2013

    This book is one of the best I've ever read. I¿m a little over 2

    This book is one of the best I've ever read. I’m a little over 2/3 of the way
    through it, and it has been so amazing. It is a memoir by Stephanie Nielson,
    who survived a plane crash in 2008 that burned 80% of her body. It is about
    her life before the crash, and the trials of the plane crash, her life in the
    hospital, and what happens afterwards. There is so much faith in God and
    love in the story. Her husband also was in the plane crash, but he helped
    Stephanie all that he could (which was a lot) and their love for each other is
    so beautiful. I cried while reading it, because it is so touching. I have stayed
    up very late reading it because it’s so good, and it has such a miraculous
    story line. Some of the people in this true story are Stephanie, Christian
    (her husband), her children, her siblings and parents, hospital staff, and
    the many people in the world who have reached out to help her. Younger
    children probably wouldn't understand a lot of it, and it has some things in
    it that are for more mature people. So I would have them wait until they are
    a little older to read it. As I've said, it is very engaging, and you’ll want to
    find out what happens to Stephanie and her family. It is very well-written,
    and there is an amazing balance between the events and Stephanie’s
    thoughts and feelings. There is also a very good word choice, and it is
    full of detail. I've loved all of it so more, and I definitely encourage you to
    read it.  I'm so glad Stephanie wrote it and has shared her story with the
    world. It will strengthen you, and help you make it through the trials that
    you face in your life.Enjoy!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2012

    A ver inspiring read

    I really was inspired by this book . It is the true story of Stephanie Nielson. I like how Stephanie set the book up to tell her story. She has it in parts. She tells the story of her life before the crash. Then she talks of surviving the plane crash. The same crash that has left her beauty scarred. She talks of the medical side of her healing and most important the spiritual side of her healing. I found her faith both inspiring and refreashing. She is living proof that God uses all things for our good. I give this 4 stars.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2012

    I was sad to finish this book. It was so well wriiten. Inspiring

    I was sad to finish this book. It was so well wriiten. Inspiring

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2012

    Loved the book, such an amazing and beautiful story. I would rec

    Loved the book, such an amazing and beautiful story. I would recommend this book to everyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2012

    Loved thisbook!

    I would recommend this book to all my friends

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2012

    An amazing story of recovery and coming back to life. A beautifu

    An amazing story of recovery and coming back to life. A beautiful life.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 21, 2013

    I gave this book 5 stars because this book opens up your eyes to

    I gave this book 5 stars because this book opens up your eyes to the blessing you have. It's a reminder to be thankful for everything given to you, everything you've earned, worked for, etc. Don't take life for granted because it can be gone just like that.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 22, 2013

    Good Read

    This book was heartwarming and a good, easy read. I would recommend it to anyone. My only wish...that there was more to the book than what was included -- especially at the end. But, overall a worthwhile read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 20, 2013

    Very heartwarming and touching. Everyone should read this book.

    Very heartwarming and touching. Everyone should read this book. Stephanie gives the true meaning to the importance of being a mother. This story will change you if you let it. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    Every one should read this!!!

    I was extremly touched by the story. The title is a little weitd but it was a really good read. The stoty is a great message about not giving up hope. I STRONGLY sugest this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2012

    Everyone needs to read this book. Incredibly inspiring, and very

    Everyone needs to read this book. Incredibly inspiring, and very well written. I was on the verge of tears, sad tears, happy tears, moments that took my breath away. She truly is a miracle, and lives life to the fullest.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

    I was extremely moved by Stephanie's story and the only word to

    I was extremely moved by Stephanie's story and the only word to describe her journey of recovery "AC" (after the crash) is as stated above, UNIMAGINABLE. I highly recommend her book and now when I think I'm havin' a bad day...I can think of NieNie and stop right there. Bless her and her husband for sharing their story with the world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2012

    Thanj you Nie

    A truley blessed story. Thank you Nie for ssharing your journey! You go gurl!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 21, 2012

    Wonderful book, you won't be able to put it down.

    This was a wonderful book. I couldn't put this down it was so intriging. I hope she writes a sequal to this.

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  • Posted May 7, 2012

    Exceptional, inspirational..Highly recommended!

    I have been following the Nielson's for quite some time. I always get a great feeling from reading her blog. I find the book very easy to read, and so inspirational. What a family this is...such good family oriented people. Stephanie is a strong woman and so very honest in her writing. She gives me motivation to get things done. I highly recommend this book for all to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2012

    Inspiring beautiful story

    I cried and laughed, and was disappointed to have the book end. Stephanie shows an example of true beauty, and teaches the reader about whats important in life. This book really makes a person count their blessings and work to be better in their own lives.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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